Which are the leading institutions for research into the ‘big three’ infectious diseases?


Min Read

In this blog:

  • Which institutions are most active with their citation output for infectious diseases?
  • We examine three key disease states to uncover those specialist institutions
  • Download data on the top 20 institutions for malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis research

In the years following the COVID pandemic and the spike in research into SARS-CoV-2, the importance of research into many different and damaging infectious diseases has become apparent once more.

To reflect this, in the 2023 CiteAb Awards we launched the ‘Supplier Succeeding in Infectious Disease Research’ category, which recognised the supplier with the most citations across all reagent types in infectious diseases. In our blog today, we wanted to take a deeper dive into this data, but from a new perspective. 

To this end, we analysed our reagent data to find the top institutions by citation count for 2022, covering antibodies, biochemicals, proteins, kits, cell lines and models and instruments for infectious diseases, and then more specifically Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis disease areas. 

Scientists looking to find collaborators or new opportunities in these fields and reagent suppliers looking for insights for their sales and marketing strategy, read on as we share our findings! 

What were the top institutions for infectious disease research overall? 

Analysing our citation data for Infectious Disease research across all reagent types we collect information on, we (perhaps unsurprisingly) found three large institutions claim the top three spots by citation share: Harvard University with a 1.74% share, followed by the University of California (San Francisco) with a 1.68% share and Sun Yat-sen University with a 1.47% share. 

Interestingly, we found that in the top 20 there was only a ~1% difference between the institution in the top spot and the institution in 20th.

When we drilled down into how specialised these top institutions were in infectious diseases, compared to other research areas that make up their total citations, we found Harvard and the University of California to have a particular strength in this area. 5.46% of Harvard’s total citations and 9.65% of the University of California’s were infectious disease citations.

If we compare this to the leading institution overall for citation output, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, we found that they ranked 46th for infectious disease research with 1.29% of their citations coming from this area.

Honing in on ‘the big three’ disease states

Coined the ‘big three’, due to their leading infection rates and deaths annually, Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis are areas of research with the potential for major impact and improvement to millions of lives around the world. [1]

Examining our data, we can begin to understand which institutions are more specialised in these disease states. We saw a range of different institutions represented, and clear differences between disease states. None of the same institutions featured in the top five between the different diseases.

Leading institutions for HIV/AIDS research

When we analysed our data for HIV, we found that the University of California jumped up to the top spot and Harvard University dropped down into 6th position with a 2.72% share. 

We saw that over 25% of the University of California’s infectious disease citations came from HIV/AIDS related research, showing a particular specialism in this area. They produced 3.36% of citations in this disease state in 2022.

Joining the University of California in the top five was: 

  • University of Nebraska
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • University College London

Geographically, we found the focus to be in America and Europe, with all universities and institutions in the top 20 based here.

Top institutions in Malaria research

For our data on the malaria disease state, the rankings looked very different. The top five institutions by citations here were: 

  • Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Xiamen University
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • Fourth Military Medical University
  • University of Texas

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, based in Australia, show a particular specialism in this area with nearly 10% of the citations. 

Interestingly, we saw that Harvard dropped to the 10th spot with 3.26% of citations, and the University of California had no malaria based citations in our database. 

Institutions leading in Tuberculosis research

The top five institutions for tuberculosis research included:

  • Indian Institute of Science Bangalore
  • Université de Toulouse
  • Duke University
  • Wuhan University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Again, we noticed how the University of California and Harvard were no longer in the top 20.

The Indian Institute of Science Bangalore held nearly 10% of the citations in this area, with the Université de Toulouse relatively close behind with a 7.96% share.

Unlike for HIV/AIDS research, we observed a spread of institutions across Asia, Europe, South Africa, Canada and the USA. Out of the top 20, half of the institutions were based in Asia.

Overall, our analysis showed that there is a spread in research focus between institutions geographically and across different disease states.

What data did we use in this analysis?

To carry out this analysis, we analysed our citation data for 2022 across all reagent types we collect data on. 

Learn more about CiteAb life science market data
Learn more about our data

We text-mine the scientific literature for citations and experimental information, and we tag publications with their research area to enable this sort of granular analysis. We currently have data on over 13 million products, with over 6 million citations.

Understanding institution data more fully can prove to be a useful tool for sales and marketing, helping to find the key opinion leaders across different fields and get the right products to the right researchers faster.

Download the data below

Below, you can sign up to freely download the data on the top 20 institutions for Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis research, with the corresponding citation share. 

If there’s any data analysis you want to see from us in the future, do get in touch!

Sign up for data

Something seems to have gone wrong while loading the form.
Drop us a message and we can send you the data directly.



Makam, P. and Matsa, R. (2021). ‘Big Three’ Infectious Diseases: Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV/AIDS. Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 21(31). doi:https://doi.org/10.2174/1568026621666210916170417.

About the author

Join thousands of people who already enjoy the CiteAb newsletter

To keep up to date with the latest developments to our search engine, news from our life science market data analysis and improvements to our citation provision.